Covid19–1


Will many record their experiences during this difficult time?  I have no idea.  However, a thought came to me yesterday that I should–not sure why, just that this is something I should do.  Interesting because I am not really into “shoulds.”

Because Martina, the exchange student who lived with me this time last year, lives n Milano, I have realized the seriousness of this for weeks.  She and her family have been quarantined for so long that I have lost track of just how long.  A couple of days ago her mother had to go to the grocery.  It took her four hours to get through the line.  She has a grandfather over 90; they worry about him; he is scared.

Yet, here in the Panhandle of Texas, many fail to realize just how awful this can get.  Until yesterday, when they had no choice due to the statewide mandate, they went out to eat, exercised at the gym, congregated in mass at bars, you name it. Now schools are closed until April 3 when the situation will be re-evaluated.

In the last ten days the only places I have gone are the grocery, the doctor’s office–for an awful allergy attack.  Luckily, I live out in the country, have horses.  They have to be fed twice a day, their runs cleaned.  Today it is 70, the patio doors are open; I might even take a little hike later.  Just me and Athena, my black, standard poodle.

Luckily, it has been spring break so I have had plenty of time to think about what to do with myself as I keep myself quarantined–I am not even going to my daughter and grandson’s house–I really miss seeing them.  What do I do:  have read two books, almost finished crocheting a poncho, worked one warm day in the garden, graded all the papers I brought home and posted them, cared for the horses, cooked, communicated with friends worldwide–Covid19 is everywhere, watched some TV, mostly news and documentaries.  One thing I will do every day is act as if I am actually going somewhere, put on my makeup, get dressed, have a plan for the day.

This morning I went to the grocery.  What did I do when I returned home?  I left the bag outside to air–will disinfect it shortly, I took off my clothes in the laundry room and put them to wash.  Then I took a hot shower.  Why all this you ask?  The virus can stay in your clothes for 24 hours.  There were more people in the store in the morning than I expected.  Are they healthy, virus free?  No idea.  In the county where I live, there have been two cases already.  I do not want to risk it.  Although I am healthy, I am in one of the higher risk categories due to my age.  I do not mind dying, but who wants to die from this?  I don’t.

It is a nice spring day outside, the wild flowers are starting to bloom, and I need to relearn how to use Google Classroom because that is how I will be teaching English and Spanish until who knows exactly when.  I have used it before over a year ago.  I need to refresh myself.

Here are a few pictures of the wild flowers around my house.  After this, review Google Classroom and maybe play the piano for a bit.

Take care of yourselves.  Be safe. Be wise.

 

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Is there any privacy anymore?


Last month, my book of poetry, On the Rim of Wonder, was published by Uno Mundo Press, a small press in Arizona.  It is available on Amazon, coming on Kindle soon, and signed copies can be ordered from me.  Today I checked to see what happens if I put my name in the Google search, hoping the two books I have authored would show up or at least this blog would. Not only did this blog show up, but my Facebook, Twitter, photos, and much, much more.  Although I am not obsessed much with privacy–I consider myself to be quite the open book sort of person or the proverbial “you get what you see” type, I looked in shock at what I saw on the computer.  I stared in disbelief.

One website, not Google–guess I was too astonished to even remember its name–listed my age, the main road of my address, and showed (no, I am not making this up) an aerial photo of my house.  In a way this latter part seemed a bit funny because recently when I had to call the sheriff’s office (a bullet or rock shattered my passenger side car window on my way to opera practice) and they sent out two deputies, these deputies could not find my house.  They actually called me and told me to meet them at the road because they had no idea where to go.  If it had been something scary serious, something like a robbery, the thieves would have been far away while the deputies wandered up and down the road.  Often when I invite people over who have not been to my house before, they get lost, even with detailed directions. After seeing this personal information on the Internet, I feel relieved that my house is still hard to find.  On some other sites, the information appeared to be either confusing or erroneous–not sure which is worse.  I thought about looking further, but guessed it could only get more alarming.

How do I feel about all this?  What upsets me the most?  For starters, I remain horrified, insulted, and dismayed that my age would be published like that.  Guess that tells all of you something about my sensitivities.  Another concern is safety.  Is it really personally safe to have all this information out there for just anyone to find with so little searching?  Thankfully, I live behind a locked gate and Isabella, my dog, alerts me to anything unusual.  She is big, 80 pounds, and fierce looking–a mix of wolf, German shepherd, and blue heeler.  She can destroy a huge steak bone in as little as fifteen minutes.  Still, all this out there for all to see gives me pause.

 

 

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Gratitude and Dust


Initially, I planned to continue my Apocalyptic Planet series, but today’s events caused me to choose otherwise.  As I sit here writing this, I can see the endless blowing dust through the spotted window.  Sometime today, while I was at work, it sprinkled while the dust blew.  Now every window on the east and north side of my house appears as if someone had thrown handfuls of nearly dry mud at it.  My black car looks the same.  The wind whistles in the flue of the wood burning stove in my bedroom.  This storm  blows harder and longer than the one we experienced last week.  Tomorrow they forecast more of the same.

Saturday I stopped by two greenhouses to purchase some hanging baskets and native flowers.  The mesquite trees kept telling me, “Wait, wait.  Cold will come again. Wait!”  Normally, I obey what the mesquite trees tell me.  They never come out until they know without a doubt the cold is over and they feel safe.  I bought the flowers anyway.  This coming Saturday, Hilltop Senior Citizen Center in Amarillo has their Gala at my house to raise money–complete with a silent auction, food, and drink to raise some much needed money.  I want everything to look springlike and pretty.  I heard the weather forecast on the radio coming home from work.  I just looked again on the Internet.  Frost predicted tonight and even colder tomorrow night.  After I fed Rosie, placing the alfalfa as much out of the wind as I could, I brought the hanging baskets inside and poured a bunch of water on the other new plants. The native plants, tough, worry be little.  The others will not survive 33 degree weather.  Later, I will go out and cover them with old towels, hoping the wind relents and does not blow them off.

Everyone here posts photos of the dust on the Internet and gripes about this horrid weather.  Although I certainly dislike it, I refuse to complain.  This, too, is tornado country.  I listened to the news this morning and again coming home from work.  Thirty four dead, whole towns destroyed, a new school flattened.  Here I see no devastation, only the endless, depressing, annoying dust and wind.  My friends, family, and I are alive, our houses intact.  Rosie huddles behind the barn, still healthy, neighs when she hears me coming.  Gratitude engulfs me.

 

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The iris I was hoping for.